Saturday, November 7, 2009
SAVE US JOHN WALL
Barring a mass movement to ridicule and shame Golden State Warrior owner, Chris Cohan, into selling the team, yet another tanked season seems to be the best bet to turn the franchise fortunes around.
I was optimistic about this season, but since I made the blog entry, Larry Riley and Don Nelson had done nothing of substance to improve the roster during the much anticipated off-season that promised to be busier and more productive than usual. The big addition was Stephen Curry, who by early accounts, looks to be a solid PG in-the-making. Key players off the team are Jamal Crawford and Marco Belinelli. The Warriors did well in moving Crawford for Law and an expiring Claxton, but wasted an asset in Belinelli. He was the consummate team player, always played with great effort, and had vastly improved on the defensive end. With Jackson's trade demands, Nellie even expressed some regret in trading Belinelli.
The two biggest areas of need, a true PG and a prototypical PF, were inadequately addressed. Stephen Curry might turn out to be a very good player, but drafting Brandon Jennings instead would have been a great fit in terms of adding a ready-made true PG, speed on a running team, and a player with reliable handles to push the tempo and initiate the offense with greater ease.
The Warriors were satisfied with going into the season with 5 bigs, Randolph and Wright at PF and Biedrins, Turiaf, and Mikki Moore at C. With Wright possibly gone for the season, Nelson opts to play small forwards at the 4 since they decided to focus on building an army of smalls (Ellis, Curry, Claxton, Watson) instead of investing in a backup big. The error in their ways was no more obvious than in the horrible debacle last Friday night vs. the woeful Clippers. I was certain that the Warriors would lose due to the absence of Biedrins and Turiaf, but was utterly disgusted by the way the team collectively lost their will to compete early in the 3rd Quarter, ultimately resulting in a 29 point loss. Nothing they tried worked and they were out-played at every position. Our smalls were eaten alive by Baron Davis and Eric Gordon while our bigs were over-matched by Chris Kamen and Marcus Camby. It became painfully obvious that they don't have the proper personnel to play successful small ball. If you don't have a big, true PG like Baron Davis that can guard multiple positions, your set up to fail. Ellis and Curry might have the ability to create steal opportunities with their speed and fast hands, but they are too small to overcome big guards that can score and have good ball security. If they continue with a backcourt of Curry and Ellis, they MUST develop an athletic front line of Randolph and Biedrins who could make up for the defensive mismatch at the guard positions. NO MORE UNDERSIZED POWER FORWARDS.
I was hopeful for a shot at the 8th seed in a deep draft rich with Power Forwards, but with the Stephen Jackson drama, Nelson's apathy, an unbalanced roster, inexperience, and poor chemistry, they might be better off working hard to trade Jackson and aiming for a high draft pick. If things don't improve by the end of December, it's time to dedicate as many minutes as possible to Randolph, Morrow, and Curry and to tank for John Wall.